Symantec Corporation has withdrawn their uncontested application for the new gTLD .Antivirus after saying it would become one of their “core assets” in their application.
From its application it appears Symantic wanted to operate the extension on a closed basis.
The Government Advisory Counsel (GAC) to ICANN objected to generic strings from being operated on a closed basis forcing most who had applied to operate on a closed basis to open them up to outside registrations.
Here is part of the application:
“Symantec Corporation (“Symantec”) is a leading global provider of information security and protection, serving the needs of consumers around the world, with more than 18,500 employees and operations in numerous countries.
Symantec’s products are available for purchase online to consumers and Symantec’s online content is accessible in the .COM gTLD and in multiple ccTLDs, including .CA, .DE, .EU, and .RU. Symantec is applying for four generic-term gTLDs: .PROTECTION and .SECURITY, which correspond with Symantec’s core competencies, and .CLOUD and .ANTIVIRUS, which correspond to Symantec’s products.
The intended future mission and purpose of the .ANTIVIRUS gTLD is to serve as a trusted, hierarchical, secure, and intuitive namespace provided by Symantec for its consumers. Symantec is committed to moving forward with a .ANTIVIRUS gTLD application; however at the time of filing this application, there has not been enough time, and currently there is not enough market information available, to fully analyze and evaluate all potential use case options.
Symantec will be analyzing and evaluating other gTLD applications as well as general market adoption to determine short- and long-term potential best-in-class use case options to most effectively serve and enhance Symantec’s online strategy as a leading provider of information security and protection. As a company, Symantec’s unique focus is to eliminate risks to information, technology, and processes independent of the device, platform, interaction, or location. Symantec helps individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, and global organizations ensure that their information, technology infrastructures, and related processes are protected and easily managed. Symantec delivers solutions that allow customers to access information when they need it and make it available to all of those who should have access to it. The .ANTIVIRUS gTLD will be in line with the company’s current focus by providing a trusted, hierarchical, secure, and intuitive namespace.
Antivirus software is a core offering in Symantec’s portfolio of products and services to the consumer, small and medium sized-businesses, and enterprise customers.
Therefore, the .ANTIVIRUS gTLD will become one of Symantec’s core assets.
The .ANTIVIRUS gTLD is intended to enhance Symantec’s online presence and identity; expand its marketing and promotion efforts; provide a secure channel for online products and services; and offer a platform through which to consolidate many of the intellectual property activities of Symantec.
Symantec intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .ANTIVIRUS gTLD to Symantec and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. This initial limited use will allow Symantec to establish its operations and achieve full sustainability. This limited distribution coupled with the other requirements set forth in Specification 9 of the template Registry Agreement is intended to exempt Symantec from its annual Code of Conduct Compliance requirements.
After Stage 2 (see below), Symantec will evaluate whether opportunities exist to carry out the business strategy for the gTLD through expansion that continues the sustainable operations of the registry through fee-based registrations to parties other than Symantec and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates.
Symantec currently plans a three-stage rollout for the .ANTIVIRUS gTLD:
1. Stage 1
The initial stage of implementation of the gTLD will involve Symantec registering a limited number of .ANTIVIRUS second-level domain names.
This initial use will provide Symantec’s IT and security personnel the time to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access using the .ANTIVIRUS gTLD domain names, interoperability with various software and Web-based applications, and unbroken and secure use of all names. This initial allocation will also allow the appropriate Symantec staff to coordinate with the internal and external staff responsible for the delegation and setup phases of the .ANTIVIRUS gTLD to ensure a proper transition from delegation to full operation.
2. Stage 2
Once all testing has been successfully completed, Symantec will begin allocating domain names in .ANTIVIRUS for more widespread internal corporate use. It is in Stage 2 that Symantec will evaluate expanding the operations of the gTLD to permit registration by other registrants such as licensees and⁄or strategic partners. Should an assessment of its expansion strategy lead to a decision to extend registration rights to other parties, this expansion is currently planned to take place during Stage 3. However, any expansion would be conditioned upon a review of Specification 9 (Registry Code of Conduct) set forth in the template Registry Agreement to ensure compliance with Symantec’s business model.
3. Stage 3
Based on its evaluations, Symantec will assess and determine whether its business plan and expansion strategy should be augmented by extending registration rights to a broader class of licensees, strategic partners, customers of Symantec, and⁄or other third parties. It is anticipated by Symantec that changes to the domain name industry, and particularly the impact of generic term gTLDs, will take at least five years to be realized and assessed. Any decision to expand the gTLDs beyond corporate, subsidiary, and affiliate use will take into account this experience as well as the technical analysis of potential expansion.
Notwithstanding this potential future expanded use of the .ANTIVIRUS namespace beginning in the sixth year of operation, Symantec currently anticipates implementing a throttle mechanism to ensure that any proposed expansion is controlled and responsible.”
Specifically, under the throttle mechanism Symantec would cease registration of domain names to this potential expanded universe of registrants if and when Symantec reaches 90 percent of the annual 50,000-domain name transaction currently provided for in the template Registry Agreement. Symantec believes that is prudent to incorporate this “time-out” into the business plan in order to reevaluate potential future growth and the necessary resources to ensure that this growth does not negatively impact the secure and stable operation of the .ANTIVIRUS namespace when approaching the 50,000-domain name transaction threshold. This proposed “time-out” mechanism is described in greater detail in the responses to the financial questions (Question 45-50).
The potential use of the .ANTIVIRUS gTLD will also be driven by Symantec’s future business strategies as identified in its annual report and investor filings, see: http:⁄⁄investor.symantec.com⁄phoenix.zhtml?c=89422&p=irol-reports.